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Home > View & Discuss > Contemporary book design 2017

Contemporary book design 2017

  • Date recorded: 5 Jul 2017

  • Duration: 58:52

'Most designers would agree with this: you don't ever really switch off.'
– Josh Durham

About this video

Watch our panel of experts as they discuss the most interesting and challenging aspects of contemporary book design.

Accompanied by slides, the presenters analyse book covers new and old to tease out the design elements that make a cover successful.

Josh Durham talks about how he generates ideas in response to a client brief and discusses the challenges of coming up with a new angle for a classic title, such as Lolita, that's had many iconic or striking covers over the years.

Regine Abos shares a series of book covers she designed as a personal project which reflect the reader's relationship with the book rather than the book's content. She shows examples and talks about innovative ideas in information design, such as tables of contents, in cook books.

Stuart Geddes discusses physical aspects of book design, such as the importance of binding and 'drape' (the combination of binding and paper). He discusses seminal illustrated books such as John Berger's Ways of seeing and the interplay of text and pictures.

This free event was presented in partnership with the Australian Book Design Association as part of Melbourne Rare Book Week (30 June – 9 July 2017), celebrating books, the printed word and literary heritage.


WH Chong (chair): design director at Text Publishing and founding member of the Australian Book Design Association
Regine Abos: award-winning designer and lecturer who also runs Studio Regina design consultancy
Stuart Geddes: award-winning designer, academic, RMIT University Industry Fellow and PhD candidate
Josh Durham: award-winning book designer and founder of Design by committee